Blog Archive - 2001

Son of Star Wars: Another arms race?

WASHINGTON — Reports emerging from the Pentagon about plans to test a “Space Bomber” are drawing accusations that the U.S. government is attempting to engage in another arms race.

The bomber, a spacecraft reportedly capable of destroying targets on the other side of the globe within 30 minutes, is a key component of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s plan to modernize U.S. weaponry. The satellite is currently under production by NASA and Lockheed Martin, a leading military contractor.

Pentagon claims that the bomber can cause greater and deeper ground damage from a virtually unassailable height have many critics questioning it as a component of President Bush’s “Missile Defense Screen.”

Alice Slater, president of the Global Resource Action Center for the Environment, criticized the Pentagon’s apparent aim to control space through military force. She called it a “total misnomer to talk about missile ‘defense’” when referring to the proposed program.

“The U.S. Space Command ‘Vision for 2020′ report outlines the weaponization of space,” Slater said, “envisioning that ‘space forces will emerge to protect military and commercial national interests and investment.’” She points to this focus on commercial interests as an indication of a desired “extension of 500 years of colonial domination of the world’s resources…to back up corporate interests.” [Read more...]

ExxonMobil: Facing a boycott

ExxonMobil, one of the biggest corporations on the planet, is now facing a boycott spearheaded by activist groups protesting the company\’s policies at home and abroad.

The boycott was launched by PressurePoint, a grassroots organization looking to “take real action on climate change and corporate influence,” according to Chris Doran, campaigns director for the group. “The U.S. government’s climate change policy is the ExxonMobil policy,” Doran says. “What sort of democracy do we have when one company can buy off our political process for its own gains?”

ExxonMobil is a charter member of the Global Climate Coalition, an influential industry lobbying group which maintains that the regulations to reduce greenhouse emissions drawn up under the Kyoto agreement of 1997 are neither economically viable nor scientifically sound.

According to the American Chemical Society, ExxonMobil is the only remaining major oil firm that disputes the need to seek out energy alternatives, while other companies — such as British Petroleum, Shell and Enron — have all agreed to do so. Exxon maintains the stance that there are no readily available alternatives to fossil fuels on the horizon. [Read more...]